[From Manxiana, 1870]
ON BEING ASKED BY A YOUNG TRADESMAN WHETHER HE HAD BETTER TURN EDITOR OF A PAPER.
What lots of new Papers have sprung up this year,
Penny Papers-Manx Sheets-beyond number;
Yet ere the year's o'er I very much fear
They most will be classed as old lumber.
Some die if not wanted, and some lack of brains,
Some sink, of starvation wounded;
Some so quiet are that they die of peace pains,
The successful are the most hounded.
You may plead law or preach with an average mind,
But to edit a well-to-do Paper,
Everything you must know, and the "reason why" find,
From the sun to a lighted taper.
Your bottle of gum, and scissors so keen,
And stealing of thoughts by retail;
Will soon be found out, " We're not yet so green,"
Say the public, " We'll get it wholesale.
We'll take in the Weekly from London's big town,
A sheet that's as large as the Island;
That prints all in full of every renown,
Good and bad, that happens in England.
The scandal abroad, Irish murders at home,
All the horrors of London life, too;
The trim. con. as well, the Pope's doings at Rome,
Are all chronicled there to our view."
So if you lack money, or brain, power or skill,
Contented remain as Bob Brown ;
Or else you'll be crush'd in your own press and mill,
Your epitaph will be Done Brown.
Done Brown and drowned in your own pitchy ink,
Enshrouded in your own blank paper;
He had neither money nor power to think,
He's clean gone as the snuff'd-out taper,
Will the lot of some hundreds be, I guess,
Who have invested their all in a Daily;
So, honest Bob Brown, keep clear of the Press,
And stick to your own shop and tally.
Ambition may dream of the Editor's chair,
That the pen is the world's true lever,
That moves the whole universe hither and there,
Yet it wants a God-man to upheave her.
A thought you may have at the point of your pen,
Worth flinging a thousand miles off ;
But if you wish it to cling there, I ken.
You must be either a Laureate or Gough.
You are neither. Bob Brown, you're only Bob Brown !
Be content to be simple Bob Brown ;
Good, honest Bob Brown, plain-dealing Bob Brown,
Sounds better than Brown Done Brown.